During the last couple of years, several radical transformations have taken place in how companies conduct their operations, not least of which is the rise of both the hybrid and the fully remote employee. While it is not especially difficult to determine which employees can reliably deliver on their responsibilities regardless of their physical location, you have a vested interest in ensuring that the people you pay are working as productively as possible during work hours. To quote the late Ray Kroc, the founder of the now internationally famous McDonald’s fast-food chain, “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” Learn more about the five best software applications for businesses to improve remote work and help ensure ongoing productivity.
As one of the more well-known tools for helping remote workers manage projects and related communications, Asana is an excellent small business software that can help keep important tasks on track. With a calendar feature that lets your managers see real-time updates on the completion status of each project and sends automated reminders emailed directly to each team member, Asana helps you rest a little bit easier. Other great features include automating routine tasks to save time and effort, creating custom boards that can be moved across sections like sticky notes and organized as needed, and setting specific timelines and individual responsibilities for a given project.
Remote employment can lead to significant increases in worker happiness and productivity. Still, as many people would agree, using your work-provided desktop or laptop PC for non-work-related activities is a questionable practice at best. To prevent such distractions as social media or content streaming services from affecting your remote worker, you may want to consider installing the ironically named Freedom app on devices issued to employees. Capable of preventing your remote workers from being able to access specific websites, services, and apps, Freedom also removes the ability to receive notifications and other disruptions. In addition, Freedom claims to help app users recover an average of two and a half hours of otherwise wasted productivity. It might be just the thing to keep people focused on the task at hand.
With distributed teams and remote work becoming more commonplace, sending or receiving emails can become burdensome and time-consuming when a simple direct message would do. Built with this concept firmly in mind, Slack helps facilitate effortless communications across different teams and lets users create fully customized channels for individual projects. Not content to rest on the laurels of direct messaging, Slack also provides a video conferencing service, allows you to create and share workflows for ease of communication, and can be integrated with hundreds and hundreds of commonly used tools for business and productivity.
If you are the type of manager who thrives on analytics and data, then Time Doctor will help you gain insight into individual employee productivity and help identify issues with micromanaging anyone. Time Doctor allows managers to see the overall number of hours worked across several different devices, keeps track of who has been active and who has been absent and helps provide insight into how they can develop better time management habits.
This app is also a great way to help identify if a particular employee is experiencing any issues with performance, as well as helping to determine if they need further training and guidance to improve. Whether you oversee a fully outsourced team, a group of hybrid employees, or full-time remote workers, Time Doctor provides valuable data to help ensure productivity regardless of your given workforce model.
Time Doctor can also assist you in other ways, such as letting you know if your employees are facing the threat of burnout and overwork. It helps them take ownership over their productivity and time management and encourages a healthy balance and distinction between work and life. Given that Time Doctor can be integrated seamlessly with many other tools for productivity management and communications, this is an excellent app for ensuring employees are spending their time on the job appropriately.
If your business requires employees to drive considerable distances to perform their responsibilities regularly and they receive reimbursement for doing so, then you need business software like TripLog. Keeping a written record of mileage covered by employees can be inefficient. In addition, it opens your business to the possibility of fraudulent employee reimbursement reports, leaving you out of pocket and none the wiser. While we all hope that any person we employ will not fall victim to such temptations, TripLog is one of the easiest means of preventing malfeasance and ensuring your remote workers are fairly compensated for their travel.
One of the ways that TripLog accomplishes this is by using GPS mileage tracking, which instantly compares the routes your employees use to Google Maps to prevent the possibility of incorrect data. In addition to being able to determine whether your employees could be using more efficient driving routes, TripLog also includes features like a shared address book for company use, easy-to-understand trip classification systems, rules for frequent trips, calculating the shortest distance between two points, exemptions for commuting, and route planning features.
These five software applications will help ensure your workplace is as productive as possible. Check out each application for more information to determine which will best meet your remote work software needs.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.